When we stop playing, we stop developing and when that happens, the laws of entropy take over - things fall apart. When we stop playing, we start dying.
... object play with the hands creates a brain that is better suited for understanding and solving problems of all sorts.
Many studies have demonstrated that people who continue to play games, who continue to explore and learn throughout life, are not only less prone to dementia and other neurological problems, but are less likely to get heart disease and other afflictions that seem like they have nothing to do with the brain.
Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, by Stuart Brown
In another posting, I'll show the process and detailed images, however, today I finished the denim coat that I've been working on for over a month. It's been a stop and go process of trying this and that, experimenting, evaluating, making a decision and then changing my mind, paying attention to my intuition, and following the zigzagging path from start to finish. I've been having fun. I've been playing. And it's a happy bonus that I have a new fall coat just as the season is changing.
This morning, I went for a walk along the lake with my camera practicing perspective by framing different images and seeing what developed. The sun was shining and warm. The leaves are tinged with colour and some are beginning their slow, twirling, fall to the ground. The sky was wide, open and intensely blue. This too is play. I've been learning how to get out more - out of the house, out of the studio, out into other versions of myself.
Play is something I've had to deliberately add back into my life. At first, it was difficult. I was more comfortable as a workaholic. Now, it's so amazing that I often feel like a recovering addict wanting everyone to share this perspective, to stop running so fast, to stop missing out on life, to actually be here in this moment. As I walked, I passed a young mom walking her baby in the opposite direction, missing out on baby smiles, missing out on the scenery - she was on her phone. I didn't not yell stop. I did not offer my opinion. But I really wanted to. This time will never come again.
Life is fleeting. It's not that I feel a sense of panic but I'm aware that in a blink I went from toddler to teenager, from young adult to middle aged woman. And while this is a really good place, I'm also aware that in another blink I'll be at another, older still, stage. Now is the time when I can focus on what's important to me and be in my own "playground". It's a decision to take, and to make, time for ourselves.
Choice of attention - to pay attention to this and ignore that - is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases, a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences whatever they may be. - W.H. Auden
It's been a month since I noticed the stats on the blog. When I first mentioned them, I made sure to say that they did not upset me. And they still don't. In fact, I have found them very calming. They have focused me away from any "creative career" thoughts and in the direction of developing my own work from a more personal and aggressive perspective. It's "me" oriented in a healthy way. I'm looking forward to sharing the coat pictures.
Sunday was the one year anniversary of my move to this small, creative community. It was a fabulous decision and I'm so glad to be living here. It's been holistically healthy (emotionally, physically, relationally, spiritually, financially... and for me creatively) in many ways. Years ago, I took a Year of Play that did - as the earlier quote suggested - change my perspective on life both in and out of the studio. I see this coming year as the Year of Health with a focus on making healthy choices in all of these holistic areas. It's not a BIG PLAN charting this, that, and the other thing. It's a decision to move differently, to move in even more healthy directions that I know will impact both today and the future.
IMHO, we all need to stop and take inventory every once in a while and ask ourselves am I doing what I really want to do and if not, what am I willing to do differently? When life is going wonderfully, there may be small tweaks and when life is not going wonderfully, perhaps it's time for a change of perspective and for play.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - soothing scenery